The world is showing a revived interest in thermonuclear synthesis, which can resolve mankind's energy problems, Academician Vladimir Fortov told the Tuesday session of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences. One reason is the forecasted depletion of even such sources of energy as gas by the middle of our century, as well as the threat of the hothouse effect.
The chief merit of the thermonuclear reactor are the actually inexhaustible reserves of primary materials, stressed Fortov. They are mostly hydrogen isotopes, contained in water. Among the other merits are accident-free operation and lack of attraction for terrorists. Such a power plant can be located inside an even densely populated area, or virtually anywhere because large amounts of primary materials do not have to be brought in.
Valentin Smirnov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, of the Kurchatov Institute spoke about international cooperation in creating the first-ever International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER. The project, which was born at the USSR initiative back in 1988, now involves Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan. The United States bowed out several years ago but is eyeing the possibility of coming back, said Smirnov. China and South Korea are also showing interest.
After WWII, the Soviet army left Austria, and the latter had always remained a neutral state and never joined NATO
Russia experienced default on August 17, 1998. Today, 20 years after those events, the economic situation in Russia does not seem stable to many